EPW Evolution has been synonymous with huge moments and lasting memories through its history.
At Evolution 2018, the EPW roster primed themselves to etch their names into the history books.
EPW Coastal Championship
EPW Coastal Champion “The Big Rig” Scotty Ryan vs AZ Vegara
The opening contest at Bodyslam Central saw the EPW Coastal Championship on the line as “The Big Rig” defended his championship against AZ Vegara. Vegara earned this opportunity on the back of his victory in a Four-Way at Collision Course. Vegara was quick to pounce as he attacked Scotty Ryan while he was taking off his singlet.
After the headstart for AZ, Ryan arrested the momentum back and sent him to the outside. As Vegara collected his thoughts, he was greeted by the appearance of Jay Taylor. Taylor appeared to offer his support after the two rekindled their friendship during Collision Course but Vegara was shocked as anyone to see JT. Before long, Scotty Ryan launched himself over the top rope and landed on a sacrificed Jay Taylor. Vegara took control as “The Big Rig” fought gamely.
The action went back and forth with both men showing just how much they wanted to leave Evolution as EPW Coastal Champion. As AZ Vegara climbed the corner to launch onto Ryan, an overzealous Jay Taylor hopped onto the apron to cheer on his friend. In the process of this, he shook the ropes, causing Vegara to fall and dramatically decrease his reproductive capabilities. “The Big Rig” leapt to the top rope to deliver a massive superplex right into the Sharpshooter. Vegara tapped out but the referee was distracted by the meddlesome JT.
Scotty broke the Sharpshooter to gain the referee’s attention and deal with the distraction of Taylor. This allowed AZ to catch him from behind and gain a three-count as JT knocked Ryan’s foot off of the ropes. With that, AZ Vegara was declared the new EPW Coastal Champion!
The celebration was short-lived, however, as another referee came out from the back to explain what happened. The match was restarted and Scotty Ryan capitalised with a (CY) O’Connor roll for the win.
Winner: And still EPW Coastal Champion “The Big Rig” Scotty Ryan
The Good vs The Bad & The Ugly
Jonathan Wimbledon vs “Bleeding” Billy Williams with THEM (Azazal and Bobby Marshall)
The wily veteran Wimbledon has been the target of attacks from the Billy Williams led THEM since their arrival in EPW. At Evolution, he got his shot at revenge as he took on Billy Williams. Whilst Williams was scheduled to face Wimbledon one-on-one, one could not blame Wimbledon for being distracted by the monsters Bobby Marshall and Azazal that accompanied the former “Outlaw” to the ring.
Wimbledon came out the gate firing with rapid strikes in the corner as he fought for retribution. Whilst he had the upper hand, he could not help but be intimidated by the presence of THEM. The distractions led to Billy Williams taking control of Wimbledon, who was resilient.
When Wimbledon sensed the opportunity, he scaled the top rope. However, before he could launch, Marshall and Azazal closed in as Billy Williams threw the Ex-Pat off from atop his perch. This proved enough time for Williams to stomp Wimbledon down into the canvas for the pinfall victory.
Winner: “Bleeding” Billy Williams
Tag Team Challenge
Street Gang Hooligans (Alex Kingston and Logan Grey) vs David Nero and Kiel Steria
Air Raid sirens were on alert when four of EPW’s highest fliers met in tag team action. The popular Street Gang Hooligans got themselves back onto the winner’s list with a victory at The Deen, whereas Steria and Nero were keen to test out a possible new alliance. Before the match started, Kingston exchanged words with The Headhunters (Dan Steel and Jarrad Slate) who had purchased tickets to the show after being banned from participating in the event by EPW Management. Kingston seemed to echo the murmurings of the EPW locker room who largely disapproved of Steel’s brutal beatdown of Jordan Bishop at The Deen.
Unsurprisingly, this match kicked into fifth gear early as the four men displayed their athleticism and agility. The match quickly spilt to the outside where the men played a game of one-upmanship, with Grey and Steria hitting diving moonsaults in quick succession.
Back in the ring, the two teams were evenly matched, proving their technical abilities were just as sound as their high-risk exploits. Nero and Steria showed great cohesion as a newly formed team before Grey and Kingston stamped their authority on the match. As they prepared to end the match with the Iron Lotus, they were interrupted by the heckling Headhunters who left their front row seats to attack both teams.
Once the match was thrown out, Slate and Steel looked to continue to send their message to both teams. Unfortunately for The Headhunters, both of the teams took exception to the ambush and worked together to send them retreating from the ringside area. With no conclusion to the match and the attack, there appears to be some unfinished business here for all involved.
Last Man Standing Match
Julian Ward vs “The Real Wrestler” Gavin McGavin
This rivalry has been at the boiling point for the last few months and was set to boil over in this Last Man Standing Match. The match came to be after Julian Ward gave McGavin a taste of his own medicine at The Deen by attacking “The Real Wrestler” with a chair from behind, forcing him to accept this match. Given a Last Man Standing Match can only end when a participant cannot make it to their feet before the referee’s count of 10, this was bound to be brutal.
And brutal it was. Shortly after the match began, both men were duelling with kendo sticks. With vicious shots, welts appeared over both men’s bodies immediately. Ward took the advantage and looked to let out his frustration over the disrespect he’s felt from McGavin. Chairs entered the ring next, and one of them became an inadvertent tag team partner for Ward as it sat Gavin McGavin up in perfect position to receive a dropkick. The Ward/Chair alliance ended quickly, however, as McGavin was able to wrap the chair around Julian’s neck and throat and drop him suddenly to the mat.
The action spilt to the outside where Ward was able to counter with a suplex on the unforgiving entrance ramp. However, it was a steel chair to Ward’s head that busted him open and allowed McGavin to regain the ascendancy. When he backed off to mock Davis Storm, Gavin found himself caught by Ward and power-bombed through a table in the ring.
As the men fought on the apron, it was a quick-thinking McGavin who delivered a swift German suplex from the apron through Ring Bell Mel’s table. Still, it was not enough to keep Julian Ward down for the ten count. In a desperate and cunning move, “The Real Wrestler” attempted to tie Ward’s feet to the ring post, figuring that if he couldn’t incapacitate him that he may be able to physically prevent him from standing. When this failed, McGavin wedged Ward’s ankle in between a chair to Pillmanise it.
Julian Ward would not be deterred as he fed off the energy of the crowd and fought back with his Bomb Valley Death finishing manoeuvre. The war of attrition came to an end when Ward looked to dive onto a table-prone McGavin. Gavin was able to get up and attempted to render Ward unconscious on the top with a rag soaked in a form of alcohol. They became faint and fell backwards through the table. Both men were down and both attempted to muster all of their energy, but it was McGavin’s ring awareness that allowed him to roll out of the ring and fall onto his feet to barely answer the 10 count.
Winner: “The Real Wrestler” Gavin McGavin
EPW Tag Team Championship
EPW Tag Team Champions Generation Zero (Allyson Cruz and Hayden Zenith) vs The Untouchables (“The World Beater” Damian Slater and Marcius Pitt) with Amber
The Untouchables secured this opportunity by way of their tag team victory over Michael Morleone and Scotty Ryan; a stipulation offered by Gen Zero’s “Don.”
Zenith and Cruz came out firing, nailing The Untouchables with stereo dives. When the action came back into the ring, Pitt tripped up Zenith to allow Slater to take control. The Untouchable took the advantage over Zenith as Cruz could only look on from the apron.
Hayden fought hard and looked to take the responsibility on board to retain Gen Zero’s championships. As Zenith countered Slater’s offence, Cruz tagged in and hit Slater with a flurry of attacks that nearly picked up the three count.
The action broke down and Cruz countered an F5 attempt into a cradle for another near fall. After a Pitt German suplex over the ropes to Zenith, Cruz fought both members of The Untouchables until it was too much to overcome the two-on-one as Slater and Pitt nailed her with the double-team F5. That was enough for the three, and the crowning of new champions.
Winners: And new EPW Tag Team Champions The Untouchables (“The World Beater” Damian Slater and Marcius Pitt)
After the match, Generation Zero were clearly upset and distressed as Zenith walked off dejectedly and Gen Zero’s Scotty Ryan came out to tend to a seemingly injured Allyson Cruz.
Davis Storm Addresses the EPW Fans
After a demoralizing string of losses, “The Godfather” Davis Storm requested time to speak to the EPW fans about his future. Storm spoke candidly and emotionally about his recent form, and how it led him to question his place in wrestling. He opened up about the reasons for the previous time he walked away, citing health concerns and a feeling that he physically couldn’t put himself in that situation at that time, especially with the arrival of his firstborn son.
As we know, Storm returned and ran roughshod over the EPW roster. However, since he lost the EPW Championship to Michael Morleone last November at ReAwakening 16, results have not been as he would have liked. Storm alluded to the sense of shame he felt when relaying the recent results to his kids, and implied it may be time to step away again.
Before he could finish this thought, he was interrupted by Billy Williams and Azazal. Wallace took Storm to task, citing their long history as the foundation of which EPW was built upon. When he was finished, Williams took the microphone as revealed that “THEM” were the villains and they needed Storm to join their ranks as the hero. Joining THEM was the chapter to finish with. A visibly frustrated and disrespected Storm chose the high road and left the ring. Williams taunted from the ring, attempting to goad Storm to join forces. After no response, suddenly Storm appeared again, seeming unconscious as he was dragged out by Bobby Marshall. Marshall brought Storm to the ring as Billy Williams sent a clear message by hitting “The Godfather” with Storm’s very own Eye of the Storm. Satisfied, THEM left the ring with the hope they have created the lasting visual of the end of Davis Storm’s illustrious career.
The Grudge Match
“The Child Star” Taylor King with his Taskforce (Tipene & Jack Edwards) vs Gorgeous Garry
“The Non-Stop Catwalk Show” Gorgeous Garry has been angling for this one-on-one match ever since Taylor King left him laying on his return to EPW earlier this year. After overcoming the Taylor King Challenge, he finally had his shot. King, on the other hand, had grander visions as he came in like a wrecking ball for the Entrance of the Year. Watch it below, no write up will do it justice.
After the entrance, it was time for the action. Whilst King won over fans with his elaborate entrance, he certainly didn’t maintain the goodwill as he used his Taskforce at every opportunity to stall the match and distract Gorgeous Garry.
Garry was clued up as he used the wrecking ball to take out the TK Taskforce and gain an advantage. “The Non-Stop Catwalk Show” stopped Taylor King in his tracks to knock him down with an inverted Atomic Drop. As he scaled the corner, the numbers game came into play as Jack Edwards and the imposing Tipene collaborated to send him down to the canvas. “The Child Star” controlled the match and kept the Garry down. However, The Gorgeous One rallied with the support of the EPW fans at Bodyslam Central behind him.
Gorgeous Garry was in a winning position following a spinebuster when the TK Taskforce looked to use the Wrecking Ball Sledgehammer to attack. Whilst this failed miserably, the distraction proved enough to allow Taylor King to capitalize, and leave Gorgeous Garry with an Achy Breaky Neck and a pinfall defeat.
Winner: “The Child Star” Taylor King
EPW Championship Match
EPW Champion “The Don” Michael Morleone vs “Cash Money” Carlo Cannon
After a successful EPW Championship defence against the 5-time champion Marcius Pitt, “The Don” Michael Morleone was on a high. As the lights flickered at The Deen, it was revealed that “Cash Money” Carlo Cannon would be venturing out west to attempt to pry the EPW Championship away from Western Australia; something “The Don” would not lay down and accept.
From the outset, Cannon displayed his sheer and utter disdain for the EPW fans and Western Australia as he attempted to terrorize children and staff at ringside. “The Don” would have none of this and took the battle to Cannon early.
The action spilt to the outside, where Cannon took the opportunity to drop the EPW Champion onto the unforgiving centre floor surrounded by a sea of EPW fans. Having added more size since his last visit to EPW, “Cash Money” imposed his will as he methodically worked over Morleone.
Morleone would not be deterred as he battled back and arrested the momentum to force Cannon to straighten up and put his focus on the task at hand.
At the end of the match, “The Don” was perched atop the corner as Cannon attempted to shake him down. However, it was a little more than he bargained for when Morleone countered with a massive Choke Bomb from the top rope to gain the victory and retain his EPW Championship.
Winner: And still EPW Champion “The Don” Michael Morleone
After the match, “The Don” proudly celebrated his victory and reiterated what has become the mantra of his championship reign, as he threw out the challenge to anybody willing to step up. He ran down a list of EPW wrestlers and said he welcomes them all. The EPW Champion was interrupted by a pained and exasperated Gavin McGavin.
McGavin took exception to his name being excluded from Morleone’s off-the-cuff list. He threw out the challenge to “The Don” and Morleone accepted. So at EPW Hell or Highwater on July 21, it will be the EPW Wrestler of the Year vs the EPW Champion: Gavin McGavin vs Michael Morleone for the EPW Championship.
Article by Eric McFarland
Photos thanks to Pix Photography